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Opposition strategies for 2014

August 17th, 2012

A think-tank founded by former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai outlines different electoral scenarios for 2014, and suggests that only a large party or alliance with a strong presence in all 106 constituencies will have a chance of winning the next elections.

Viktor Szigetvári (Gordon Bajnai’s former chief of staff) and his co-author Balázs Vető calculate that under the new electoral system the winner must take at least 65-70 mandates out of the 106 available (in addition to winning almost half of the mandates reserved for party lists). To gain a two-thirds majority in parliament, 80 to 85 constituencies must be won. The authors believe the 2014 political landscape may either be tripolar (Left – Fidesz – Jobbik) or bipolar (Left – Fidesz, with Jobbik losing significance), but they find the bipolar variant somewhat more likely. The authors believe that without some form of alliance between the present left-of-centre parties, electoral victory will prove difficult, as the Socialists (MSZP) would have to win over districts with right-leaning traditions. The problem for the LMP is that if they ally themselves with the Socialists, they might find it difficult to mobilise their followers. On the other hand, if they decide to put up candidates in all districts and thereby fragment the left-of-centre vote, they may have to take the blame for the defeat of anti-government forces. Another strategy for left-of-centre parties would be to refrain from setting candidates against each other in the individual districts. As both strategies have their political drawbacks for the parties concerned, the authors think the best chance for beating Fidesz would be a new formation, an “electoral party”, a new political brand, that would be supported by all left-of-centre parties and could win over some disgruntled Fidesz voters. The difficulty then, the analysts conclude, would come after electoral victory. Would the new party in government be able to reach agreement on the distribution of posts and finances?

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